With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I want to talk about love – real love, not that infatuation garbage we post as love on social media. I want to talk about true love, the not so perfect, not so romantic, raw, down and dirty love.
I know the pretty soon I’ll see lots of posts from single people wanting to be in a relationship. I get it, it’s nothing wrong with wanting love. We were made to desire love, but ask yourself, are you truly looking for love? Or is what you’re after some unrealistic fantasy you’ve gotten off of social media and movies?
The fact is, love is not always pretty. In fact, love is difficult and sometimes unappealing.
Love in its essence is simply a choice; a choice to care for, respect, and treat a person with kindness and affection despite their flaws, what they can or cannot do for you, or how they make you feel. Love is unconditional. It is not dependent on whether someone makes you happy or sad, or can buy you nice things, or can give you a certain lifestyle. At its core, love is a choice, a decision someone makes to care about another person for no other reason than because they want to love that person.
Love Others The Way God Loves You
To truly understand love, you have to first understand God. God is the epitome of love. No matter how much we disobey him, displease him, straight out hurt his feelings, he forgives us and he loves us still. He chooses to still care for us and still send blessing to us, despite the fact that we are sinful people by nature. When I think about all the things that I have done in my life that are not of God, it amazes me that God would still have favor for me. I know that God still loves me, despite my flaws, because I can’t count the number of blessings I have received. And honestly, I don’t deserve any of them, but he still loves me.
God makes a choice every day to send blessings to us, for no other reason than because he wants to. He chooses to care about us, treat us with kindness and affection, despite what we do for him, how we make him feel, or the type of lives we live. His love is unconditional. Whether we please him or displease him, his love does not change. He does not base his love for us by how much we go to church, how much we sin, how many prayers we say to him, or anything of that nature. He loves us because he made a choice to love us.
I Challenge You to Choose Love
I challenge you to explore this type of love; love that is unconditional, love that is a choice. I challenge you to do three things:
One: Love God
In order to truly love others, we must first love God. So many people are turning to other people to fill a void that only God can fill. Of course, we fantasize love. Of course we desire love from a partner. God created us to love one another, but if a person doesn’t understand Godly love, true unconditional love, how can that person expect to understand unconditional love with an imperfect person? I challenge you to learn love, the way that God loves us. Strengthen your relationship with the Lord to learn what unconditional love feels like.
Two: Love Yourself
I’ve met a lot of people in my life who appear to be confident on the outside, but hate themselves on the inside. Holding your head up on the outside, but truly being insecure and unhappy with yourself on the inside is not confidence. That is not self love. Unconditional love cannot be given to another person if it can’t be given to oneself. If a person can’t give love to them self, the person they spend the most time with, then how can they know how to give love to another person? In order to have real love with another person, we must first choose to care for, respect, and treat ourselves with kindness and affection despite our flaws, just as God has done for us, just as we’re to do for others.
Three: Love Others Unconditionally
Give unconditional love to those all around you. In a relationship? Love your partner with no strings attached. Single? Try loving your family and friends better. Real love knows no gender, it only knows love.
This Valentine’s Day, when everyone is posting superficial depictions of love (i.e. flowers, chocolate, cards, balloons, etc.), I challenge you to increase the amount of unconditional love in your life. Love God, love yourself, love your family and your friends, and love them all unconditionally. Love them with no strings attached the way that God loves you.
I pray that all of your relationships grow and prosper: your friendships, your romantic relationships, your relationships with your family, your relationship with God, and even your relationship with yourself. And if you get nothing else from this blog post, please know that I love you with no strings attached. I care about you, and wish you the best.
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